When visiting an unfamiliar place, the hotel’s concierge desk is often a welcomed sight. A friendly face to help get you oriented can be the difference between feeling overwhelmed in a new place and feeling at ease. But for millennials, that unfamiliar place may be as close as their local grocery store.
According to a 2015 report published by the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA), millennials may benefit from concierge-style service in places such as supermarkets and restaurants. The report suggests that the busy group, with its limited cooking experience, often needs a high level of service and instruction in grocery stores.
Offering a higher level of service may just be the key to capturing millennial loyalty, industry observers claim.
Connecting with the cohort
The report claims that transparency and authenticity are paramount when it comes to connecting with the group, whom the report describes as having a “low tolerance for empty claims.” This, the report says, is due to having grown up with social media and “the easy access it allows to anything they want to know.”
The report also lists these factors as important to millennials:
Seeing food prepared. In-store experiences give millennials a positive, fresh food experience and allows them to see and interact with deli personnel.
Having good food that tastes great, and the ability to access it quickly and at a fair price. This includes trying new foods and global flavors.
Providing fresh, local, and inherently healthy products.
Concierge services in restaurants aren’t exactly a trend that’s sweeping the nation yet, but one new Chicago steakhouse is getting in on the ground floor. At Swift & Sons, diners are greeted by a concierge whose job is to meet requests of diners across the restaurant’s multiple rooms.
“People just like having that person who knows them when they walk in the door,” says Lauren Robinson, concierge of Swift & Sons. “It's a huge place and we have a lot of corporate clients that come in and it's great for them to have a point of contact for reservations.”
However, the idea of a restaurant concierge is still new to many, including Darren Tristano, president of Chicago-based restaurant research firm Technomic. But while he says he's never heard of an official restaurant concierge, he adds that more restaurants are hiring people to perform concierge-like roles.
“In the New York market,” says Tristano, “restaurants are not necessarily adding a concierge, but behaving with customers in a concierge-like fashion and profiling leading customers because they want to understand their needs.”